Adjust font size:
I. Geography and natural conditions
Tall in the east and low in the west, Guizhou lies over 1,000 meters above sea level.
Guizhou enjoys ample precipitation. Rivers flow through steep terrain, resulting in drastic fall of the waters which gives rise to a hydro-power generating resource of 18.74 million kw, putting the province at the sixth place in the country. For each square kilometer, hydropower resources amount to 106,000 kw which is the third largest in the nation. The province is also rich in gas stored in coal reserves. The abundant water and coal reserves allow the province to draw up the strategy of developing water and coal energy at the same time.
As one of the great reserves of minerals, Guizhou boasts more than 110 kinds of minerals, out of which the amount of reserves of 76 kinds is already known. Guizhou is among the top ten sites in the nation in the reserve of 42 kinds of minerals and the top three in 22 kinds. The province is particularly strong in the reserves of coal, phosphorus, mercury, aluminum, manganese, antimony, gold, barite, raw materials for cement and bricks, as well as dolomite, sandstone and limestone.
With a reserve of 241.9 billion tons of coal, Guizhou has been known as ¡°home of coal in south China¡±. Its phosphorus reserve accounts to 44 percent of the national total while the mercury reserve, after long years of tapping, still makes up 38 percent of the total amount in the country. The newly discovered gold reserve of 150 tons offers the country another gold production base.
Over 3,800 species of wild animals inhabit Guizhou. Out of this figure, over 1,000 kinds are listed as rare species under state protection. More than 3,700 kinds of medicinal herbs, or 80 percent of the total number of medicinal herbs, are found in Guizhou.
Guizhou is a newly rising tourist destination. Unique natural scenery, rich ethnic traditions, splendid culture and history as well as pleasant climate draw tourists to the province. Now over 120 tourist sites have been opened including national scenic areas of the Huangguoshu Waterfalls, the Dragon Palace, the Golden Brocade Cave, the Red Maple Lake, the Maling River Valley and the Shizhang Cave on the Chishui River, four national nature reserves (the Fanjing Mountain Botanic Garden, the Maolan Karst Primeval Forest, the Chishui Primeval Forest and the bird reserve at Caohai), 8 national cultural relic sites and many villages with distinctive ethnic minority customs and ways of life.
In 1998, 75 incidences of environmental pollution costing 754,000 yuan were registered. In the same year, total discharge of industrial waste water was 311.13 million tons. Some 373 million tons of industrial waste water was treated with 41.49 million tons of treated industrial wastewater reaching the treatment standard. Also in 1998, total industrial waste air discharge was 33.47 million tons. In the year, waste air treatment capacity in the province was 23.3 million tons. Under construction in 1998 were 151 projects for dealing with industrial wastes, including 62 projects for treating waste water and 29 natural reserves which protect a total area of 287,139 hectares.